Decorating your windows is an investment. That is why you should do your homework before making your selections. Windows can be treated simply to blend into the background, or they can be a decorating opportunity for setting a room's mood. Whether you treat windows as a background element or as focal point, consider the following to determine your functional needs:
How much privacy do you need?
Does the room have north, south, east or west exposure?
Will the window provide ventilation for the room?
What are your lighting requirements?
Do you want to maintain the view?
Are you concerned about energy efficiency?
Do you want easy cleaning access?
Are there any interfering architectural features such as crown moldings, beams, chair rails, built-in cabinets, etc.?
Are there doors in the room that need to be treated? If so, how frequently are they used?
Once you have considered your functional requirements, you need to consider your decorating styles and preferences. Your window fashions should suit the window while coordinating with the rest of the room. To determine what treatment will best suit your décor, consider the following:
What is the style of your décor?
How formal is the room?
What mood are you trying to achieve?
How big is the room?
How many windows are there? Are all the windows the same size and shape?
Are the windows proportionate to the room and its furnishings, or does the window's size need to be altered with the window treatment?
Are your windows the focal point of the room or a background element?
What kind of furnishings will be in the room?
What colors, patterns and textures are used in the room? (Bring fabric samples to your design consultation. This helps coordinate your window treatments with the room's décor.)